A Brief History of Balmoral Castle
Balmoral Castle, the Scottish home of the Royal Family is famous for its sweeping Highland landscapes and impressive surroundings.
After many years of visiting locations around Scotland, the then Queen Victoria, and her husband Prince Albert resolved to purchase a home deep in the Scottish Highlands.
They settled on the Balmoral estate, surrounded by wonderful sweeping heathland and thick woodlands.
In 1852, the estate was finally purchased by Prince Albert for £32,000 and after an initial visit, the Family decided to rebuild the Castle to their own size and specification needs.
The new building was completed in 1856 by the architect William Smith, with the former building soon demolished.
Queen Victoria embraced Scottish culture, and decorated the Castle in true Highland style, with the interiors adorned with tartan and the works of local artists.
Victoria and Albert spent a lot of time at Balmoral, the Queen taking long walks in the countryside whilst Albert hunted the various game that occupied the estate.
As the decade wore on, Albert took to extending the estate and replanting conifer forests in the grounds.
After his death in 1861, Victoria spent an increasing amount of time in relative seclusion at Balmoral, as much as four months at a time in some years.
As Balmoral past through the Royal Family over the years it still proved to be a popular winter retreat.
The country house is still a working estate, with much of it, occupied by farmland, grouse moors and managed herds of wildlife.
The Castle grounds remain private property, but tourists are allowed to explore the grounds around the turreted building. Guided safaris and walks are popular with visitors to the Castle, as are the well-kept gardens and forested areas that surround the central house.
Only the ballroom is open for public viewing inside Balmoral Castle and it is certainly worth popping into marvel at the elegance and regality on show.
The Queen was in residence at Balmoral at the time of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
The events thereafter were depicted in the award-winning 2006 film The Queen.
Find out details of opening times and prices here.
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